Time passages.Posted: 05.08.12
If I could rewind the clock:
I’d tell myself at thirteen that I don’t need to be messing around with boys yet. I’d tell myself that sex is not the same as love. I’d tell myself that I could be a complete and whole and loved person without turning myself into a commodity. I’d tell myself that my father didn’t show love because his heart was broken, not because I was a deficient child. I’d tell myself that it does get better.
I’d tell myself at sixteen not to use the internet.
I’d tell myself at eighteen not to make a stupid, stupid crack at my best friend that kept us from talking for months. I’d tell myself not to get off the phone when he called me for the last time. I’d tell myself to tell him to go to the hospital right away, not to delay.
I’d tell myself at twenty to pick a major–pick any-goddamn-thing–and just finish school.
I’d tell myself at twenty-two not to start smoking.
I’d tell myself at twenty-three not to give up my life for love. I’d tell myself not to quit my job. I’d tell myself to get help with the stress that overwhelmed me. I’d tell myself not to shut down and never to quit moving. I’d tell myself to buy a real damn bed instead of sleeping in a windowless room on a pile of clothes.
I’d tell myself at twenty-five not to worry about people’s judgments of me, and not to believe others’ judgments of the world. I’d tell myself that real friends don’t hide from you, and that people who love you shouldn’t just love you when it’s convenient for them. I’d tell myself not to stop calling my grandma, even though it hurt me and it was hard to talk to her. I’d tell myself that my mother was doing the best she could.
I’d tell myself at twenty-six to consider it more deeply. I’d tell myself to keep those jobs. Any job. Because I’m strong enough to do anything when I don’t let fear beat me down. I’d tell myself to get out of the house more.
I’d tell myself at twenty-eight to push for an apartment with a dishwasher and a shower.
Next year, I turn 30. I’ve spent over half a decade now in difficult solitude, despite the people around me who love me. The walls have gotten so high I can’t seem to climb them, and I seem to have crash-landed in a Gordian knot. Every time I come close to unraveling one part, another part tangles hopelessly. In other words, I’m a hot mess.
Amy posted a poem at IB that I find particularly striking. I’m feeling particularly morose today (could you tell?) so I’ll leave you with it:
Not Waving but Drowning
by Stevie Smith
Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.